- Gray wolves are essential keystone species that regulate a biological ecosystem. (Estes, Terborgh, Brashares, Power, Berger, Bond and Wardle, 2011) There are many reasons why maintaining a healthy population of keystone species in the wild is essential. Gray wolves: 1) Are family pack animals that work together as a team, (San Diego Wolf Conservation Center, 2019) 2) Create a trophic cascade, (Estes et al., 2011) 3) Are meant to be in the lower 48 states based on historical range, (Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, 2019) 4) Have been unfairly eradicated by humans in the past, 5) Have been identified as endangered species during specified times, 6) Have a symbiotic relationship with birds, 7) Serve an essential purpose warranting conservation, 8) Are the ancestors of domesticated dogs, 9) Have a fear of humans and tend to stay away from them (Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, 2019), and 10) Rarely attack humans. Some species transform our planet through their existence.
Despite scientific evidentiary support respecting the ecological importance of gray wolves, the canine continues to be a problem for many humans. If the problem is that there is a coexistence concern for gray wolves in the wild and humans living together, then a reason for this should be obtained if people are willing to share. Perception is essential when deriving reasons for why coexistence is problematic for competing species. Humans reluctance to coexist with apex predators has consequences, some of which humans are already experiencing.
This section has been removed based on IRB restrictions. If you would like the full results, you can view them on academia.edu: https://www.academia.edu/43300164/Coexistence_Between_Gray_Wolves_and_Humans_A_Long-Term_Sustainability_Study
The results indicated that a long-term sustainability solution depends on: 1) humans ability to minimize their own unchecked growth and development, in order to allow wild keystone species to live with the land, 2) the human species ability to change their perspective on wild species, thereby allowing them to live peacefully, in an ecologically balance manner, 3) the human species ability to adapt to new norms and implement protection strategies that ensure planetary health and human health, simultaneously, and 4) wolves ability to stay away from humans and their livestock. Coexistence between gray wolves and humans is dependent on mostly the human species ability to implement planetary health and human health measures, simultaneously.